91851

SOC 101

 Introduction to Sociology

Allison McKim

M  W       3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLIN 202

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies; Related interest: Environmental & Urban Studies  Sociology is the systematic study of social life, social groups, and social relations. The discipline views the individual in context of the larger society, and sheds light on how social structures constrain and enable our choices and actions. Sociologists study topics as varied as race, gender, class, religion, the birth of capitalism, democracy, education, crime and prisons, the environment, and inequality. At its most basic, the course will teach students how to read social science texts and evaluate their arguments. Conceptually, students will learn basic sociological themes and become familiar with how sociologists ask and answer questions. Most importantly, students will come away from the course with a new understanding of how to think sociologically about the world around them, their position in society, and how their actions both affect and are affected by the social structures in which we all live. Class size: 22

 

91852

SOC 120

 Inequality in America

Yuval Elmelech

 T  Th     3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLIN 203

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Human Rights  Why do some people have more wealth, more power, and receive greater respect than others? What are the sources of this inequality? Is social inequality inevitable? Is it undesirable? Through lectures, documentary films and class discussions, this course examines the ways by which socially-defined class, gender, race and ethnic categories are unevenly rewarded for their social contributions. Sociological theories are used to explain how and why social inequality is produced and maintained, and how it affects the well-being of individuals and social groups. The course will focus on two general themes. The first deals with the structure of inequality while studying the unequal distribution of material and social resources (e.g., social status, wealth, power). The second examines the processes that determine the allocation of people to positions in the stratification system (e.g. educational attainment, social capital, parental wealth, institutional discrimination).   Class size: 22

 

91853

SOC 141

 Culture, Society, and Economic Life

Laura Ford

 T  Th     1:30 pm-2:50 pm

OLIN 101

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: American Studies  This course will introduce students to sociological principles and perspectives through a focus on the economy. We will begin by asking the obvious question: why would sociologists study the economy? We will briefly explore three “classical” answers to this question, which come from foundational thinkers: Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim. Most of our time, however, will be spent with contemporary authors in the new and developing field of “economic sociology.” These authors help us to see the ways that the economy is “embedded” in society and in culture: in worldviews, in moral frameworks, and in social-relational structures. Topics covered in the course will include: (1) social patterns of consumption, (2) commodification of emotion in the service economy, (3) roles of law and social action in the branding of products and places, (4) social foundations of modern, industrial capitalism, and (5) social, moral, and legal meanings of money.  Class size: 22

 

91854

SOC 205

 Intro to Research Methods

Yuval Elmelech

 T  Th     11:50 am-1:10 pm

HDR 101A

MC

MATC

Cross-listed: American Studies; Environmental & Urban Studies; Global & International Studies; Human Rights  The aim of this course is to enable students to understand and use the various research methods developed in the social sciences, with an emphasis on quantitative methods. The course will be concerned with the theory and rationale upon which social research is based, as well as the practical aspects of research and the problems the researcher is likely to encounter. The course is divided into two parts. In the first, we will learn how to formulate research questions and hypotheses, how to choose the appropriate research method for the problem, and how to maximize chances for valid and reliable findings. In the second part, we will learn how to perform simple data analysis and how to interpret and present findings in a written report. For a final paper, students use data from the U.S. General Social Survey (GSS) to study public attitudes toward issues such as abortion, immigration, inequality and welfare, affirmative action, gender roles, religion, the media, and gun laws.  By the end of the semester, students will have the necessary skills for designing and conducting independent research for term papers and senior projects, as well as for non-academic enterprises.  Admission by permission of the instructor.  Class size: 15

 

91855

SOC 262

 Sexualities

Allison McKim

M  W       11:50 am-1:10 pm

OLIN 204

SA

D+J

SSCI

DIFF

Cross-listed: American Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Human Rights   Although sexuality is often considered to be inherently private and individual, this course examines sexuality as a social phenomenon.  It asks how sexual identities and social categories of sexuality come to be and how they are maintained or changed over time.  It examines how historically specific social contexts shape the meaning of sexual experiences and how we use sexuality to define ourselves, produce social hierarchies, and mark moral boundaries.  We will begin with an introduction to theories of sexuality and consider the essentialist / constructionist debate.  Then we use a historical perspective to look at the social institutions that help to produce, construct, and control sexual practice and identities, paying special attention to the role of gender, race, and class inequality.  This will provide a basis for looking at the development of modern sexual communities, identities, and politics, including controversies over commodified sexuality and feminist debates about prostitution and pornography.  Throughout the course will consider the important role of gender in the social organization of sexuality.  We will also address how these social processes shape notions of personal identity and the self.  Class size: 22

 

92094

SOC 341

 big changes and grand narratives: Macro-Historical Sociology

Laura Ford

 T           4:40 pm-7:00 pm

OLIN 309

SA

SSCI

Cross-listed: Historical Studies; Political Studies  Classical sociological thinkers were unapologetic about thinking  big.  They sought to uncover the architectonic social forces of historical and cultural change, and to peer into the future toward  which such forces might be leading.  Has a new type of capitalism taken over the world?   Have social ties like friendship and marriage been changed out of all recognition by new social conditions?  Does religion still matter in modern societies, and, if so, how?  In this course, we will survey the "grand narrative tradition" of sociology. We will begin with classical exemplars  of this tradition, including  Karl Marx, Max Weber, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Emile Durkheim.  We will look at authors from outside the boundaries of canonical sociology, including Karl Jaspers and Henry Sumner Maine.  And we will study more contemporary authors, such as Michel Foucault, Robert Bellah, Michael Mann, Samuel Huntington, and Philip Gorski. One goal of this course will be to help students reflectively  develop research projects that involve historical and comparative  research, or historical themes.  Another goal of the course will be to help students  consider  the strengths and the weaknesses of macro-historical sociology. This course is part of the College Seminar on Crises of Democracy;  students  will be required to attend parts of the Hannah Arendt Center Conference  "Crises of Democracy" on Oct. 12-13.  Class size: 15

 

92221

SOC 346

 GOVERNING THE SELF

Allison McKim

   Th         1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 309

SA

SSCI

This advanced seminar examines institutional and political attempts to govern social life by shaping the self. It engages theoretical questions about relationship between the self and power, social control, the state, and the construction of knowledge. In doing so, the course also engages debates over agency and individualism. This subject straddles political and cultural sociology and links the micro-level of everyday experience with macro-level questions of power and politics. It covers the symbolic interactionist approach to social control, including Goffman, and how sociology broke with Enlightenment ideas about the individual. We delve into qualitative and historical research on patterns of governance and subjectivity in many contexts, including paid labor, consumer culture, psychological treatment, prisons, self-help groups, and reproductive policy. About half of the course focuses on the “governmentality” scholarship associated with Foucault that examines how authorities think about and enact forms of regulation and control. The course will enable students to examine questions of subjectivity and individuality, recent shifts toward “neoliberal” governance, and the politics of empowerment.

Class size: 15

 

 

Cross-listed courses:

91882

ANTH 238

 Myth, Ritual & Symbol

Michele Dominy

 T  Th     1:30 pm-2:50 pm

OLIN 201

MBV

D+J

SSCI

 

92093

PS 109

 Political Economy

Sanjib Baruah

M  W       1:30 pm-2:50 pm

OLIN 305

SA

SSCI